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Royal St. George Yacht Club 'Phantom' Sailors Rule at Dragon National Champs on Dublin Bay

21st June 2015
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Phantom (Neil Hegarty, David Williams and Peter Bowring) on her way to Dragon Championship victory this afternoon. Photo: Con Murphy

#dragonnationals – Neil Hegarty at the helm of Phantom who led the 2015 Dragon National Championships from start to finish was presented with the winners trophy at the National Yacht Club this afternoon. The Royal St. George YC crew of Hegarty, David Williams and Peter Bowring who took an early lead on Friday afternoon were challenged first by Salcombe entry, Bear, skippered by Martin Payne.

Another challenge in the 13–boat fleet emerged yesterday from Kinsale's Little Fella (Cameron Good) but in the end no one could match Phantom's blistering pace downwind that gave the Royal St. George crew a 100–metre lead in today's final race seven.

By adding two race wins to the final scoresheet tally, Hegarty, Williams and Bowring took the title by a margin of five points from Payne. Last year the Phantom crew finished second to Lawrie Smith in a 21–boat fleet in Kinsale.

Royal St. George club mate Andrew Craig sailing Chimaera was one point further back in third overall. Racing was run under the NYC's Race Officer Con Murphy and his team.

Full results downloadable below.

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Final race photos by Cathy MacAleavey

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Downloads

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The Dragon was designed by Johan Anker in 1929 as an entry for a competition run by the Royal Yacht Club of Gothenburg, to find a small keel-boat that could be used for simple weekend cruising among the islands and fjords of the Scandinavian seaboard. The original design had two berths and was ideally suited for cruising in his home waters of Norway. The boat quickly attracted owners and within ten years it had spread all over Europe.

The Dragon's long keel and elegant metre-boat lines remain unchanged, but today Dragons are constructed using the latest technology to make the boat durable and easy to maintain. GRP is the most popular material, but both new and old wooden boats regularly win major competitions while looking as beautiful as any craft afloat. Exotic materials are banned throughout the boat, and strict rules are applied to all areas of construction to avoid sacrificing value for a fractional increase in speed.

The key to the Dragon's enduring appeal lies in the careful development of its rig. Its well-balanced sail plan makes boat handling easy for lightweights, while a controlled process of development has produced one of the most flexible and controllable rigs of any racing boat.

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